When extroverts are speechless

“So … what do you do after work?”

That was the question, at dinner, when the subject of my minimalist life came up with coworkers. In the awkward moments after the wine glasses are emptied, just before dinner arrives, the bomb was detonated. It began with an observation to everyone at the table, from a coworker, that I don’t own a car. Five extroverted talking heads all turned at once, the way everyone in a restaurant turns when a waiter drops a tray of glassware. The comment that I don’t have a car was made in innocence, but I could hear the recrimination in the tone.

I explained that I live less than two miles from my office, my neighborhood has nearly everything I need within walking distance, and I have two legs that work and do own a bicycle. For longer trips I use Uber.

I seized the moment in full carpe diem fashion and said “You’d be surprised what you don’t need.”

“Like what?”

“Well, I don’t have a television, so that means I don’t have cable. And I don’t have high speed Internet, just a little hot spot from my cellular provider.”

“So … what do you do after work?”

A Room with a view

img_0018Apologies to E.M. Forester. This is the view from my hotel room in Kansas City, Missouri. A little to the right of center is a brown smudge thingy, like a dirt comet falling from the universe onto the planet. I don’t know what it is. I don’t want to know, either.

The windows here don’t open, begging the question why put a piece of transparent wall into a hotel room when it overlooks the roof of another building? There is nothing in the distance to see, and I suspect this view would perhaps border on the edge of pornographic interest only to a roofing technician.


Annihilation book cover

Annihilation – the first book in Jeff Vandermeer’s “The Southern Reach” trilogy. An intermingling of Stephen King, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs with twenty-first sensibilities. A novel that could only have been written in the first-person. You ought to read it.